Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
One thing is quite certain: ou can love this album to death or loathe it with every fiber of your being, but you can’t really ignore it. From the gorgeusly disturbing gatefold sleeve, displaying a masterpiece of Gothic artwork by Swiss cult artist R.H. Giger (of “Alien” fame), down to the unabashed self-indulgence of its musical content, “Brain Salad Surgery” is a compendium of everything progressive rock is all about, the good, the bad and the ugly. It is loud, metallic, and harsh, undeniably bombastic, though it can also be melodic and soothing – a true rollercoaster ride of an album, swinging from the beautiful, English choirboy vocals of “Jerusalem” (with wonderful lyrics courtesy of one Mr William Blake) to the all-out progressive orgy that is “Karn Evil 9”.
CHIC's third album has been praised by many as their very finest, yet - perhaps because of the impossible task of surpassing two monster albums (C'est CHIC + We Are Family) - I feel this comes off a wee bit disappointing. Of course, there was the ambiguous "Good Times", possibly CHIC's very greatest track with Nard's classic bass line, this first single has made history of its own, and there's no denying the splendid quality of this record. "A Warm Summer Night" is a sensuous instrumental that belongs among my favourites with its corny "Te quiero papi" whisper. Needless to say, the music is faultlessly played, repeating the theme over and over again.
What’s so instantly striking about Crosby, Stills and Nash’s CSN, their second group album in eight years, is that it sounds so much like the debut LP even though its makers are so vastly changed. Since CS&N, and later Y, were always at the vanguard of the conspicuous counterculture (always ready to hoist their tie-dyed freak flag at a moment’s notice), their current reflection and hesitancy are especially interesting. And, because the music is so eerily familiar, the album communicates a kind of time warp (imagine if we knew in 1969 what we know now) that’s compelling and troubling.
Although Crosby, Stills & Nash had, in effect, been together for well over a decade when Daylight Again (1982) was issued, it was only their third studio long-player of concurrently new material.